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Anyone doing the PBP this year?(6 posts)

Anyone doing the PBP this year?sprocket rocket
Jan 20, 2003 1:36 PM
I am thinking about it but I have to think fast since the Brevet series in my area starts Feb 22.

I have done my share of double centuries but I am not sure that means I will be able to do 750 miles. Did anyone do it in '99? What was hardest for you? For me it is definitely going to be the sleep deprivation.
I am considering it. (nm)onespeed
Jan 20, 2003 1:39 PM
Brevet seriesUncle Tim
Jan 20, 2003 1:46 PM
I am going to attempt to complete the brevet series in my area and then see what shakes out. This August is terrible for my schedule but I don't think I can wait until 2007.

There are tons of personal stories of PBP 1999 ( an earlier) on the web. Just plug in "paris-brest-paris" into a google search and you will find plenty to read.

Bon courage, les randonneurs!
was going toDougSloan
Jan 20, 2003 1:46 PM
I was considering it before having a baby. No time now.

Check here for more info: http://www.topica.com/lists/randon/read
I hope to...Lon Norder
Jan 20, 2003 1:59 PM
I'm going to do the Santa Rosa and Davis BC brevets at least.
Yes, with a bit of luckDale Brigham
Jan 21, 2003 9:42 AM
I'm no expert, but I am a '99 PBP veteran. If you can knock off double centuries, you can do PBP. For most of the randonneurs in PBP, it's not a race per se -- it's a ride with time cut-offs. If you can make the cut-offs, you get to finish the ride.

If I thought of PBP as having to ride 750 miles straight-through, I'd be quivering on the floor in the fetal position, rather than planning for the event. In '99, I chose to divide PBP into a 3.5 day staged event, with stages of approx. 300, 200, 200, and 100 miles (I know, that's 800 miles, not 750 miles; these are approximations). Yes, 300 miles (actually, about 275 miles from the start to Loudeac) is a long day, but it can be a 20+ hour day (it was for me). When you have nothing else to do except to ride, eat and rest (a bit), it's not that hard to knock off 200-300 miles a day. So, rest assured that it's not an impossible task; you can do it.

Sleep is overrated, at least at PBP. When you are riding PBP, getting only 3-4 hours of sleep a day seems natural and adequate. It's a big event (3,000-4,000 riders), and it sort of sweeps you along. I found that the brevets (in Missouri), with only a handful of cyclists strung out over hundreds of kilometers, were much tougher mentally than PBP. Don't worry about losing sleep; a couple of hours at night and a cat nap or two, and you'll be right as rain.

Logistics is a big challenge for U.S.-based randos. Getting yourself, your bike, and your stuff to France, having a place to leave your bike box, having either support or bag drops at the controls (checkpoints), and finding lodging both at the start/finish and mid-course (if you want to sleep in a real bed, not on a gym floor) takes time and money. There are travel agencies that can help with this, but my comrades and I did it ourselves. This year, I'm going to plan my trip well ahead of qualifying (i.e., completing the brevet series). Just assume that you will qualify. Nothing like dropping a cool thou' or so on a plane ticket to Paris as incentive to finish the brevets.

Sorry for blabbing so much. Like you, I am both awed and excited by the prospect of doing PBP (again). All I can say is, that in my 30+ years of racing and riding, it is by far the best event I have ever had the privilege of participating in.

See you in Paris!

Dale